A story for the ages. Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin have been married for over two decades — but the couple’s journey to happily ever after wasn’t always easy.
After meeting in 1992, Rinna and Hamlin immediately felt a connection even though they were both in other relationships.
“It was sparks right away. She had just been to the circus the day before and she said, ‘Oh my God, I went to the circus last night and it was so sexy!’ I’m thinking to myself, ‘Wait a minute, here’s this girl. She’s sitting there and the elephants and the clowns and all that,’” the L.A. Law alum recalled on The Jess Cagle Show in 2019. “Because the only circus I’d ever been to was Ringling Brothers. But she was talking about Cirque du Soleil, which is very sexy, but I didn’t know that.”
Hamlin, who was married to Nicollette Sheridan from 1991 to 1992, noted that he was interested in Rinna from their first conversation. “I had not seen Cirque du Soleil at that point, so I thought, ‘If this girl can be turned on by elephant dung and whatever, I’m good with her.’ I was enchanted right away,” he added.
The pair reconnected later that year after they were both single. According to Rinna, it took some time for Hamlin to take the next step in their relationship due to his past. (The Emmy nominee was previously married to Laura Johnson from 1985 to 1992. He also shares son Dimitri with ex Ursula Andress.)
“Harry had been married twice before me, so Harry wasn’t very excited to get married again. Like, not at all. Zero,” the reality star explained on Live With Kelly and Ryan in 2017. “It took five years, which is kind of a long time when you’re waiting for it. I’ve never been married.”
The California native continued: “So, long story short, we’re at dinner up in Canada. We’re just sitting at dinner and all of a sudden he just, like, out of the blue says, ‘I think we should get married, what do you think?’ That’s how romantic it was. Of course, I said yes, but I made him, afterwards in the bathroom, I said you have to get down on your knees and propose for real, for real.”
Following their 1997 nuptials, Rinna and Hamlin welcomed two daughters: Amelia and Delilah. Their fans got a glimpse at their home life when the duo signed up to film a reality series together.
“We decided we wanted to create something between the two of us. Our lives are crazy in that not only are we actors, artists, not only do we do shows like that Dancing With The Stars or go to Broadway to do Chicago but we also have kids, we have a retail store that we’re trying to keep going all the time,” the Clash of the Titans alum told CNN in 2010. “So a lot of crazy things happen to us on a daily basis, and we just thought, ‘Well you know what, if we’re going to do something creative together, we could do a comedy. We could do something like I Love Lucy.’”
Their short-lived series was eventually followed up by an offer for The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Although Rinna was onboard, it took some time to convince Hamlin to take the offer.
“I went to him and said, ‘OK, they’re interested in me doing this show, the Housewives.’ ‘Nope, I’ll divorce you if you do it.’ I said, ‘OK.’ No more conversation. Done. That was that. I was fine with it,” she recalled during an interview OWN special in 2015. “So he came back to me in like two days and said, ‘You know, I’ve thought about it. I’ve done some research — I’ve changed my mind. I think it might be a good thing for you.’ Harry being a really, really good businessman said, ‘It’s a good thing. It’ll work for you. You should do it.’”
Since joining the Bravo series in 2014, viewers have continued to get glimpses of Rinna and Hamlin’s marriage throughout the seasons.
Scroll down to relive Rinna and Hamlin’s long-lasting romance: